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Senate Estimates - 2017-18. - Printable Version

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Senate Estimates - 2017-18. - Peetwo - 02-20-2015

CASA AQONs
Okay less than a week out from the Additional Estimates & we finally have the AQONs... Huh Originally the answers were supposed to be in by the 12 December '14 so why the delay?? Well on the first run through it would appear that it had nothing to do with the agencies because there is much evidence that they had their answers in well before the due date.

Example from the ATSB AQONs
 
Quote:Senator Xenophon asked:

   
1. Does the ATSB have a date for the Canadian TSB to complete and table its report?

a. At what stage is the investigation?

b. Has a draft report been completed?


Answer:
 
1. The Canadian TSB has advised the ATSB that they expect to release the final report by 1 December 2014.

1a. The ATSB has been advised that the report is currently undergoing the TSB’s standard final editorial and language translation processes.

1b. Yes.
 
So the blame lies either with the Department or the miniscule's office for the delaying tactics on the arrival of the AQONs... Angry
We also know that Heff & Co will be livid; see here from Budget Estimates 29 May '13 a week after the Senate AAI inquiry report was handed down:
Quote:Senator HEFFERNAN: Welcome, Mr Mrdak. I would just like to emphasise the disruption and the unfairness demonstrated—not necessarily by the department—on questions on notice. They came back, and I have no idea how long they were in the minister's office, and were received by this committee on Friday at two or three o'clock in the afternoon. Religiously and with great precision DAFF have their questions back on the given day, and we commended Minister Ludwig yesterday for that. But sadly the questions on notice from Minister Albanese's office are always late. It is unfair to the committee and, as a consequence of the late afternoon on Friday, the hardworking people in the secretariat had to work on Friday night and Saturday just to process the questions. I think that is most unreasonable. There is no strategic reason. Bugger it—the questions and the answers are the questions and the answers, and if they are on paper we ought to be entitled to see them in time to get our head around them. They can often be important issues—and I am sure that Senator Fawcett is about to raise important issues—that we need to thoroughly process in the best interests of the Australian public.

& further down

....Mr Mrdak: I very much acknowledge the point raised by Senator Heffernan on the tabling of the answers by the portfolio. Again, my apologies, Senator. The department makes every effort to meet the time frame set by the committee; I can assure you of that. We do apologise in relation to the timing of the provision of those answers.


Senator IAN MACDONALD: Can you tell us when the answers were submitted by you to the minister's office?

Mr Mrdak: There were 132 questions in total, 40 taken on notice on the hearing day and 92 written questions. The department did not this time meet our requirements to get the advice to the minister as we would have liked. The first 100 draft responses were provided to the minister on 28 March. The further 32 outstanding responses were provided on 8 and 18 April, owing to some delays in getting data from us. But the minister had all of the consolidated answers by 18 April.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: Senator Thistlethwaite, do you have any indication of why it took the minister from 18 April until last Friday to deal with those things?

Senator Thistlethwaite: No, I do not, Senator. Again, I can seek to take that on notice and provide you with an answer.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: It would be good if you could.

Senator NASH: Can I suggest that perhaps the good senator might like to do that over the next two days for us? I am sure he is able to call the minister's office and come back to us before the end of tomorrow.

Senator Thistlethwaite: I already indicated that I would.

Senator NASH: Thank you.
  
Or if you prefer here is the video version... Wink

Now although Heff & Co in that case blamed it on the miniscule's office I strongly suspect that this time round the delay is of M&Ms doing. Why?? Well take a look at the answers to the Senator X line of questioning on Angel Flight:
Quote:Senator Xenophon asked:


I understand that CASA has put forward a discussion paper in relation to community service flights, which cover organisations like Angel Flight and so on.

1. What prompted the issuing of this paper?

2. What concerns have been raised in relation to the safety of these flights?

3. How many community service flights have been involved in incidents in the last 12 months?

4. Does CASA have a view on whether people choosing to use community service flights have a full understanding of the safety regulations such flights are required to meet?

5. Depending on the outcome of the discussion paper, is it likely to have an impact on the regulation of medical charter flights?

Answer:
 
1. The growth in the number of community service flights prompted CASA to take a proactive approach to examining future options for the appropriate level of regulatory oversight for these flights.

2. CASA determined a number of significant potential risk factors needed to be considered; including pilots with varying experience and qualification levels and the variable types of aircraft potentially involved and their maintenance standards.

3. None reported.

4. The discussion paper has appropriately raised the importance of the Australian public having a good understanding of the safety regulation of community service flights.

5. Medical charter flights are regulated separately from community service flights. The Discussion Paper did not seek to examine medical charter flights.
  
Now given that last week CASA put out a presser through the DAS Skidmore - indicating they have backed down on the NPRM Charity flight thing - wouldn't you think the miniscule's office would have got CASA's answer to reflect the good news story before releasing the AQONs to the Senate committee??
I'll be back with MTF... Tongue

   


Senate Estimates 24th February 2015 - slats11 - 02-25-2015

A pleasant evening with the Senators. I just caught up with the recordings - well worth a look. If you thought PelAir and CASA and ATSB was dead, think again. There is blood in the water, and plenty of curly questions were taken on notice.

The recordings are available at aph.gov.au
http://www.aph.gov.au/news_and_events/watch_parliament

Also available on youtube

The order was re-scheduled for some reason.

CASA
CASA appeared in the afternoon session (i.e. part 2). CASA was the final department in the afternoon session - CASA starts at 4h16m into the recording (4:16 of part 2).
Nick X asked about John W taking up a regulatory compliance position with CASA. Skidmore didn’t know - possible I guess given he is new. Farq helped him out to confirm John W had held such a position, but indicated he may have now left. CASA undertook to advise relevant dates if he has now left CASA. .

Nick X also asked what due diligence CASA undertook to ensure the PelAir regulatory deficits uncovered by the CASA special audit were not the responsibility of the then CP (John W). NX continued on to suggest that if the CP had any responsibility for the PelAir regulatory deficits, then this could suggest he was not suitable for a regulatory compliance position at CASA. Long long pause. Skidmore then took this question on notice.


ATSB
ATSB appeared last, and Nick X led the charge. I had the feeling NX was doing a bit of last minute research before facing ATSB, and this may have been reason for rescheduling.

Dolan said ATSB had changed its view that the issues raised in CASA special audit had been addressed. ATSB was no longer of that view. "Will the Special audit and Chambers report be considered in new investigation?" Yes Senator.

Expect new investigation to be finished by Christmas 2015

Will get recorders ASAP, and believe data will still be recoverable

Investigation will be independent of initial investigation, with very minimal cross-over of staff. Other than ATSB judging ATSB of course!

Senate committee will get regular updates on progress on new investigation.

Joke of the night came from Heff, who innocently asked if the CP of PelAir at time of crash was working for CASA at time of ATSB investigation. Dolan stumbled and stuttered “I genuinely can’t recall Senator.” Someone at the back of the room apparently nodded his head in answer to Heff’s question.


Plenty of warnings there would be additional QON for both CASA and ATSB. We didn’t get to hear what these were, and may have nothing to do with PelAir.


Pumpkins, Goblins, Skating and corporate plans! - Gobbledock - 02-25-2015

I thought that perhaps DAS Skidmore and Sen Fawcett had been to the same hairdresser? The same with Messrs Crosthwaite and Boyd, twins? And Boyds suit jacket reminded be of David Byrne out of Talking Heads when he wears the oversized jacket!! Of course Terry sat there like a field scarecrow, almost comatose and probably secretly hoping the topic of A380 endorsements, colostomy bags and Sky Sentinel wouldn't get raised! But he did look completely splendid with green tie and matching catheta, like a green Goblin. Dr Voodoo was wearing his red power tie, must have felt comfortable behind that grey whispy facial hair, while Pumpkin Head looked as if his giant neck and head were going to swallow up his entire body!

Anyway one of the good outcomes was when Skates said that he wants to include the action points out of the Forsythe review and incorporate them into CAsA's corporate plan. That would be a mature and sensible safety approach, so Skates deserves a chocy frog for suggesting that idea. However he does have to get that past the bloated Board, and I couldn't imagine Chairman Hawk agreeing to an actual tangible and transparent idea such as that. What, actually accept responsibility for implementing a proactive measure and include timeframes on it? Oh my, not what a senior bureaucrat is used too!!

Quote:Edited Angel  Don't re-quote Slats - seems he don't like it too much... Huh  "K"



RE: Senate Estimates 24th February 2015 - Peetwo - 02-26-2015

Hansard is out… Blush

CASA

Quote:Senator XENOPHON: Let me put something to you in relation to that report, in which Senator Fawcett played a pivotal role—I want to acknowledge his role in that very comprehensive report, and the role of the secretariat. That report raised some serious concerns about CASA's interactions with the ATSB in terms of information sharing. I do not think it is unfair to say that there was broad concern that CASA may have withheld information from the ATSB, contrary to the MoU, that revealed deficiencies in CASA's oversight of Pel-Air. My question to you is: how has the culture in CASA changed, or how will it change, to ensure that those concerns and findings in the Senate report will not be repeated?


[ltr]Mr Skidmore : With regard to ensuring that we have good lines of communication between the ATSB and CASA, that is part of the memorandum of understanding that we are in the process of reviewing with the ATSB right now, so I will ensure that that is picked up in that review.[/ltr]

[ltr]Senator XENOPHON: I am happy to ask you further questions on this, because it was quite a seminal report about aviation safety investigations and interrelationship between the agencies. Further, in respect of that report, you may be aware of the significant regulatory failures found within Pel-Air by CASA after the ditching, both in that special audit and in the Chambers report. Does the former chief pilot of Pel-Air, who was with the company when these breaches occurred, now hold, or has he held recently, a regulatory compliance position within CASA?[/ltr]

[ltr]Mr Skidmore : I cannot answer that with my estimation—[/ltr]

[ltr]Senator XENOPHON: Mr Farquharson may know.[/ltr]

[ltr]Mr Farquharson : I am aware that he did.[/ltr]

[ltr]Senator XENOPHON: This is something that Senator Heffernan was particularly interested in, in terms of the former chief pilot of Pel-Air working with CASA.[/ltr]

[ltr]Mr Farquharson : I am aware that he did join CASA. I am not sure whether he is still with us.[/ltr]

[ltr]Senator XENOPHON: Could you take that on notice, please, and if he did leave, on what date did he leave?[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: That was with regard to the downgrading of the incident judgement call.[/ltr]

[ltr]Senator XENOPHON: Yes. What due diligence did CASA undertake to ensure this individual was not responsible for the many and significant breaches found within Pel-Air and was arguably unsuitable to hold such a role within CASA? I am happy if you take it on notice, but it is a key—[/ltr]

[ltr]Mr Skidmore : I think we will have to take it on notice. [/ltr]


AirServices Australia (ps it’s a doozy..  Huh  )(pps includes Aviation & Airports)

Quote:CHAIR: Thank you very much for that. Tell me what Mr Jason Harfield does.


[ltr]Mr Rodwell : Jason Harfield is—[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: The allegation I have is that he has been given a job, but it is a no-man's-land job.[/ltr]

[ltr]Ms Staib : Senator, would it be all right if I answered that?[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: Yes. As you know there is a bit of s-h-i-t going on.[/ltr]

[ltr]Ms Staib : Thank you, Senator. Jason Harfield is the Executive General Manager, Future Service Delivery. That is the program delivering our new, replacement air traffic control system.[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: What is the difference between FSD and OneSKY?[/ltr]

[ltr]Ms Staib : OneSKY is the name we give to the program replacing the national air traffic control system. We are working with Defence on that program, so we will, for the first time in this nation's history, have a single, national air traffic control system used by both the military and the civilian sector. Future Services Delivery looks after that as well as the transformation program. In other words, making sure that the whole organisation is ready for this most significant and important change.[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: Is that about a $400 million program?[/ltr]

[ltr]Ms Staib : OneSKY you are talking about, Senator? That is the portion that is around about what is for Airservices. I am a bit careful about giving the specific numbers because we are in negotiation with the preferred tenderer, but it is in that order.[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: Do you use 457 visas?[/ltr]

[ltr]Ms Staib : We have done, and we have some people on 457s.[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: Could you give us the details of those, on notice?[/ltr]

[ltr]Ms Staib : Yes.[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: There was an allegation that some of those people are inappropriate. With the civil-military airwaves transformation, how do FSD and OneSKY weld that together? [/ltr]

[ltr]Ms Staib : FSD is, as I said, looking after the program, which is called OneSKY—[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: This is what you call 'cutting to the chase', by the way.[/ltr]

[ltr]Ms Staib : It also, as I said, looks after making sure we are ready. There are a number of other projects that have to be delivered. We have a joint program. We have Air Force people working in that team to deliver the program on behalf of Defence and Airservices.[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: We have been briefed on this and we have been through it. It seems quaint to me, but could you explain the supervision of air traffic in Adelaide being done from Melbourne?[/ltr]

[ltr]Ms Staib : I think you are referring to the integration of our terminal control units or our radar approach—one in Adelaide into Melbourne and then Cairns into Brisbane. I will ask Mr Hood—[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: I am just trying to get my head around it. The average punter who flies into Adelaide would probably like to think that the air traffic controller is in that control tower area and that he can see that storm cloud over there and that plane that is too low over there. But, if it is someone in Melbourne and the camera is not focused on that particular sector—[/ltr]

[ltr]Ms Staib : Traffic landing in Adelaide and taking off from Adelaide will continue to be controlled by our people in the tower. That is because you do need visual.[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: That is what I thought! [/ltr]

ATSB

Quote:Senator XENOPHON: You do not think there is a risk of a perception of Caesar judging Caesar with respect to this?

[ltr]Mr Dolan : I think there is a possibility of that perception. The other point I would make is that the only power to reopen an investigation of a safety matter of this kind is under the TSI Act and must be with the ATSB.[/ltr]

[ltr]Senator XENOPHON: So there is no capacity to outsource it to another similar body? In other words, could you ask the Canadian TSB to do the investigation de novo?[/ltr]

[ltr]Mr Dolan : No.[/ltr]

[ltr]Senator XENOPHON: There is no capacity in the legislation?[/ltr]

[ltr]Mr Dolan : As I understand it there is no capacity, and the requirement is in the end that the commission of the ATSB consider the final report and publish it. [/ltr]

Read and enjoy it was one of the most positive RRAT Senate Estimates I have ever witnessed & the Senators remain very focussed on keeping the bureaucrats honest... Wink

MTF... Tongue  


RE: Senate Estimates 24th February 2015 - Gobbledock - 04-13-2015

Sen X would have to be one of the hardest working Senators I have come across. Not only that, but the guy actually gives twos shits about the misuse or abuse of taxpayer money, he works hard on behalf of real Australians who have been victimised by bureaucratic bullshit, rather than sweep matters under the carpet he looks for solutions to problems, and he has succinctly exposed the current and former governments and their alphabet soup agencies for being dishevelled, mismanaged and at times corrupt and incompetent. His approach is straight down the line, his tenacity is unmatched, and when the guy smells blood or pony pooh it causes some sort of chain reaction in him that is an absolute pleasure to watch. I only wish he could be offered a knighthood, however he has been bestowed with plenty of bags of chocolate frogs from the IOS, he holds an honorary membership with the IOS, and he is permitted to sit in the F/O seat in the wheelhouse of the Styx Houseboat whenever he wishes to!

'Safe skies are Xenophon skies'.


RE: Senate Estimates 24th February 2015 - Peetwo - 04-26-2015

Estimates - Passing strange observation (M&M) obfuscation??

It is now less than a month before the next Senate Estimates:

Quote:2015-16 Budget Estimates#

Group A*: Monday, 25 May to Thursday, 28 May 2015 and, if required, Friday, 29 May 2015+
(see groupings above)
Group B*: Monday, 1 June to Thursday, 4 June 2015 and, if required, Friday, 5 June 2015+
(see groupings above) 

{NB The RRAT Legislative committee falls into group A}.

Before the next financial year Estimates can start to be debated, the previous budget needs to be put to bed. From a Senate Estimates point of view this line under the previous year culminates in a final report being written by individual committees that summarises the activities and findings etc. of the FY Estimates e.g. - report from RRAT committee FY '13-'14

However before the report can be finalised all the normal due process for the Additional Estimates needs to be completed e.g. QONs indexed & answered; additional documents received & published; Hansards checked & published etc..etc.       

The following is a copy off the Senate Estimates webpage - see here
Quote:Senate Estimates

Estimates of government expenditure are referred to Senate committees as part of the annual budget cycle. This opportunity to examine the operations of government plays a key role in the parliamentary scrutiny of the executive.
2014-2015 Additional Estimates
The 2014-2015 Additional Estimates hearings were held from Monday, 23 February to Friday, 27 February 2015.

|Estimates hearings for 2015|




Reports, hearing transcripts and answers to questions on notice 
(including information from previous estimates hearings)



More information
For more information on the role of estimates hearings, read:

Now click on all the individual committees from top to bottom, then click on Additional Estimates for FY '14-'15 e.g. - Estimates (Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee)
Quote:Additional Budget Estimates 2014-2015

Hearing Program 25 and 26 February 2015 (PDF 79KB)
View report - (PDF 406KB)
Hansard Transcripts
25 February 2015 Defence Portfolio (PDF & HTML)
26 February 2015 Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio (PDF & HTML)
Tabled Documents
Questions on notice
Answers to questions on notice are due by close of business on Friday 17 April 2015.
Indexes and answers to questions on notice will be loaded to the respective department/agency pages via links below.
Defence Portfolio
Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio
Clarifications and corrections to evidence
Department of Defence, letter from GN Davies AO CSC, Air Vice–Marshal, Deputy Chief of Air Force, clarifying evidence given at the Senate Estimates hearing on 25 February 2015 in relation to Senator Conroy’s questions regarding the costs of Special Purpose Aircraft flights, dated 2 March 2015, received 23 March 2015 (PDF 278KB).
 
You will see that all of the committees are at various stages of following the due process from the Additional Estimates to their publication of the final report. Some (like above) have even published their final report.

Well that is until you get to the RRAT committee?? Here is what is listed for Additional Estimates for that committee..err..nothing or should I say TBA??  

Quote:Estimates Hearings

2014–15 Estimates
 
Ahh...Houston miniscule (M&M) we have a problem.. Blush
MTF...P2 Tongue


RE: Senate Estimates 24th February 2015 - Kharon - 04-26-2015

Nice work (again) P2.  You have a TT tin key.


Prorogation for disambiguation - perhaps.

Many ways of expressing the delay in providing answers to the RRAT QoN; taking the Mickey Bliss works well; as does having a lend; but, so does nowhere to hide.   

Providing answers to questions has never been problematic for the Murky Machiavellian department.  It's an old game, any question to which a carefully work shopped answer cannot be trotted out is – taken on notice i.e. Question on Notice (QoN).  The department concerned then trot out of parliament and scurry off to the nearest gin palace for a little bit of executive stress relief and decide which way to answer the question, what works best.  There are many subtleties in the art form of not answering a QoN.

The stone wall – No – which beggars the 'beggee' leaving that unfortunate with little option other than being forced to provide more information; thus providing a clearer picture of what the beggee knows, making eventually answering the question, in three months time, easier.

Another is the 'long ramble', this is a carefully constructed confection of half truth mixed amongst an avalanche of words, which leaves the questioner with a lengthy read, precious little in the way of 'hard' answers, but practically nothing of any real substance.  The beauty part is that by the time the questioner realises this, time has sped by; three months since asking the question which has long lost relevance (or the problem has been quietly removed) and the opportunity to rephrase has been lost due to 'other' business.

Aye, the run of the mill QoN do not concern our doughty bureaucrats, not a jot.  Until the monster arrives, the mythical beast which strikes terror and even the makes the bravest tremble – cue fanfare – The question to which the answer is known.  (cue dramatic chords). 

You see boys and girls; the only time a 'Crat is in deep doo dooh is when the wriggle room is reduced to nothing; the escape paths are blocked and there is no one else left standing who can be blamed. Eek..  Now, if your trapped 'Crat can be placed in that position you will either have a trophy scalp or, if you get lucky; a straight answer then your trophy scalp.  It a war between politicians a 'Crats that has gone on since before anything like democracy was dreamed up.  It is always either war, or, it's collusion, for mutual benefit, but never for peace, truth, justice of the benefit of the people who pay them to play these games.  

Ever tried to estimate the fiscal cost involved in one question, by one Senator being asked in Senate; and, if that number does not worry you, try to work out the cost of getting to a useful answer.   If they stopped asking questions, the national debt would reduce very nicely, in short order.  Anyway – I digress.

Unless P2 has got the research wrong (unlikely) these questions will be put to the BRB indaba. – have the Senators asked questions to which the answers are known?; and, if so which one of the Machiavellian ducklings is for the Senate pot. 

Ante post betting is now open.  Early money is on "Dodgy Dromes" who's connections are associated with beautifying and illuminating the Georges river.  The jockey has not yet been nominated.  Choose carefully before you make a bet on the "Race to the Bottom" cup.  You will need to nominate both horse and jockey to win the sweepstakes.  

Happy punting.


RE: Senate Estimates 24th February 2015 - Gobbledock - 04-26-2015

Is it possible that the Senators could perhaps push for a timeframe on QON''s be introduced, the same way CAsA enforces timelines for audit/NCN responses? For example the department be given 30 days to respond fully with all elements of the 'question' addressed thoroughly? Department executives are then to be held accountable for these responses - if they are not adequate, they are obsfucated or ignored then punitive action be taken against the accountable individuals! Hell CAsA aren't afraid to issue a show cause to an operator or pineapple a Chief Pilot out of his position if satisfactory answers/mitigation is not implemented.

What do you think boys, should we have "accountable skies for all"?


RE: Senate Estimates 24th February 2015 - P7_TOM - 04-26-2015

Good calls GD – but will the dreaded, matriarchal public service families tolerate such insolence from mere politicians.  They never have in the past, golf and other very important social events may be affected and we simply just could not have things like accountability or probity or efficiency or running the country impinge on that; now could we.  Silly boy, back to the brass work for you.... Big Grin ....Accountable skies, the very idea..... Wink


RE: Senate Estimates 24th February 2015 - Peetwo - 04-27-2015

Quote:Is it possible that the Senators could perhaps push for a timeframe on QON''s be introduced, the same way CAsA enforces timelines for audit/NCN responses? For example the department be given 30 days to respond fully with all elements of the 'question' addressed thoroughly? Department executives are then to be held accountable for these responses - if they are not adequate, they are obsfucated or ignored then punitive action be taken against the accountable individuals! Hell CAsA aren't afraid to issue a show cause to an operator or pineapple a Chief Pilot out of his position if satisfactory answers/mitigation is not implemented.


What do you think boys, should we have "accountable skies for all"?

Great idea Gobbles it is certainly well past time that the Murky Machiavellian & Co were performance reviewed for their tardy responses to RRAT committee QONs. If it is good enough for the rest of the public service departments to get the AQONs/ Additional information & final reports in on time- then it should be good enough for the DoIRD. Maybe Murky's crew should be penalised (KPI'd) for repeatedly attempting to obfuscate the Senate?? Make the bastards more accountable, after all they are wasting all this time on our dime... Angry  

Not sure if it is a coincidence or not but today the RRAT Committee finally updated the Estimates webpage to reflect the administration progress of the Additional Estimates & final report:

Quote:Additional estimates 2014-2015  (February 2015)

Agriculture portfolio program (PDF 52KB) (PDF 36KB)
View report - (PDF 144KB)
Infrastructure and Regional Development portfolio program: (PDF 48KB)
Hansard Transcripts
23 February 2015 (HTML & PDF)
Agriculture
24 February 2015 (HTML & PDF)
Infrastructure and Regional Development
5 March 20155 (HTML & PDF)
Agriculture
Index and Answers to Questions on Notice

  
As you can see the Ag Dept have tabled their final report but M&Ms crew have not, however this could be largely due to the fact that the vast majority of the QONs are yet to be answered. This is despite the fact they are overdue by ten days:

Quote:Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development


Questions on notice index: (PDF 569KB)
Answers were due Friday 17 April 2015
Answers to Questions on Notice
QoN no.
Division/Agency
View File
Date received
92-94
Australian Rail Track Corporation
(PDF 911KB)
22/04/2015
105-109
Australian Maritime Safety Authority
(PDF 93KB)
22/04/2015
122
Office of Transport Security
(PDF 25KB)
22/04/2015
182-183
Western Sydney Unit
(PDF 33KB)
22/04/2015

Tabled Documents
View File
1.) New South Wales Auditor-General's Report- Performance Audit - WestConnex: Assurance to the Government
Tabled by Senator Doug Cameron.
(PDF 1949KB)
2.) Answer from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development to Question on Notice No. 148 from Budget Estimates 2014-15. Tabled by Senator Doug Cameron.
(PDF 323KB)
3.) Document outlining a list of air carriers of which all operations are subject to a ban within the EU. Tabled by Mr Mike Mrdak, Secretary, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.
(PDF 2204KB)
4.) Article entitled 'Reforms bid forces tourism firm to sell' from the Cairns Post, 28 January 2015. Tabled by Senator Glenn Sterle.
(PDF 206KB)

Additional Information and clarification of evidence
View File
1.) Correspondence received 5 March 2015 from Mr Mark Skidmore AM, Director of Aviation Safety, Civil Aviation Safety Authority, correcting evidence given on 24 February 2015.
(PDF 8599KB)
2.) Correspondence received 17 March 2015 from Mr Peter Foley, General Manager, Australian Transport Safety Bureau, correcting evidence given on 24 February 2015.
(PDF 61KB)

{NB: You will note that at the top of the DoIRD Estimates page is a link for the QON index}

MTF...P2 Dodgy


RE: Senate Estimates 24th February 2015 - Kharon - 04-28-2015

Separation anxiety.

Quote:P2 – "As you can see the Ag Dept have tabled their final report but M&Ms crew have not, however this could be largely due to the fact that the vast majority of the QoN are yet to be answered. This is despite the fact they are overdue by ten days:

The well rehearsed game of delay, delay, blame the Minister, delay, then at the very last moment provide an abstruse, obfuscated answer then, look surprised when no one can work out WTF the question referred to, or if there is any semblance of an answer in the response is an old, trusted system.  The Murky Machiavellian crew have this down to a fine art, always working to a time honoured formula.  

There are however questions of interest in the last batch from estimates; cunning of P2 to leave a hint at the bottom of his post – X marks the QoN spot; thanks mate.  I have downloaded and 'de-fragged' the questions (copy and paste friendly), they are –HERE – in Aunt Pru's library.  The pages of interest are from 49 to 73 inclusive, particularly:-  

QoN 150, 153, 156 – to the ASA will set the tone for the next round.  NX is not too easily led astray and gives the appearance of a man with all the answers.  The BRB wonder if the ASA mandarins have worked this out yet; or, are they still too busy running credit cards to max allowable to design limits; and/or, planning extended holidays (sorry) overseas training courses to take his questions seriously.  We shall see.  

Quote:Senator XENOPHON: Can I suggest to you that that is actually untrue. The information I have is that getting this information is less than six mouse clicks away. So could you please revisit that issue, because my information is that from multiple sources you could obtain this information very easily and Airservices purported statement that it is too complex and requires too many resources is not accurate at all. 

QoN 161, 162 – 164. to ATSB will amuse and delight the Beaker fan club.  The NX question below heralds a panzer offensive, spearheaded by the entire committee on the Beaker Bunker.  It will be interesting to see if Manning runs out waving a white flag, stands to one side and watches the carnage; or climbs up onto the roof and moons the Senators.  BRB ante post betting is 'interesting'.  (MTF when the field is announced and I nut out the odds).

Quote:Senator XENOPHON: You can understand it is not unreasonable to conclude that there appears on the surface to be an inconsistency, but you are saying that it is dealt with by the table. 

QoN 172.  To CASA provides a bookies nightmare.  Much depends on the response to the NX casually posed questions.  You can see on the video the entire committee panel was paying attention, for here the seeds of internal destruction were sown.  Skidmore can stand back and watch as the Senators reap the harvest.  Played properly, this little question can expose some of the most devious acts of embuggerance, bastardry and malice ever seen.  Hint? well start CAO and the responsibilities of a Chief pilot; then look at the actions of the CASA management structure running the Pel-Air farce; then check the publicly available e-mail strings.  If they ever make a movie of it all, no one would believe it was other than a fiction constructed by a fevered imagination.  Alas, all true and provable.  The BRB book on this entrant in the Race to the Bottom is firmly closed until, eventually, an answer to the QoN is provided to the well briefed committee Senators.  (MTF? Oh hell, yes). 

Quote:Senator XENOPHON: This is something that Senator Heffernan was particularly interested in, in terms of the former chief pilot of Pel-Air working with CASA. 

Mr Farquharson: I am aware that he did join CASA. I am not sure whether he is still with us. 

Senator XENOPHON: Yes. What due diligence did CASA undertake to ensure this individual was not responsible for the many and significant breaches found within Pel-Air and was arguably unsuitable to hold such a role within CASA? I am happy if. etc.

Many may think that this is all as dry as sticks and so it is – up front.  Bit like cricket to an American really, or chess to a MKR fan.  The subtle moves which collapse the centre not obvious until suddenly – it's all over.  

Anyway – BRB indaba is soon.  I'll square up the field. set the tote odds, and lay off some risk before then.  

Toot toot.  


RE: Senate Estimates 24th February 2015 - Gobbledock - 04-28-2015

It amused me that while watching the repeats of the Senates 'Greatest Hits Vol 3' on the Houseboat big screen TV with the Ferryman, Minnie, and Lookleft (strangely Looky chose to sit butt naked in a steaming pile of elephant dung, vigorously smearing it over his aging body while singing his favourite Liberace tune), I recalled how ridiculous CAsA's memory is. For example, nobody could answer 'who in the organisation was A380 endorsed', even though Terry was sitting right there!! Also, nobody could recall whether 'a certain CP who worked for a certain organisation that ditched a Westwind was still employed at CAsA as an FOI'!! Seriously, nobody at the table could recall? Now, I inderstand old age can cause side effects such as partial memory loss, brewers droop, periodic toilet visits at 2300, 0200 and 0430, and hypertension but the lineup of Silvertails on these occasions couldn't recall such basic information?? Christ, these same people are responsible for aviation safety on a national scale?? I bet they remember to check-in business class for their trips to Montreal? I bet they remember to claim their TIL payments for each travel jolly? I bet they remember the processes and procedures of how to fly an A380 so they can receive their endorsement?

Hmmm, not sure about you lot but I think I can smell the fresh pungent aroma of pony pooh mixed in with the smell of Tezza's mothballed luggage and pensioner cologne!!

Tick tock


RE: Senate Estimates 24th February 2015 - Peetwo - 04-29-2015

(04-28-2015, 09:56 AM)Gobbledock Wrote:  It amused me that while watching the repeats of the Senates 'Greatest Hits Vol 3' on the Houseboat big screen TV with the Ferryman, Minnie, and Lookleft (strangely Looky chose to sit butt naked in a steaming pile of elephant dung, vigorously smearing it over his aging body while singing his favourite Liberace tune), I recalled how ridiculous CAsA's memory is. For example, nobody could answer 'who in the organisation was A380 endorsed', even though Terry was sitting right there!! Also, nobody could recall whether 'a certain CP who worked for a certain organisation that ditched a Westwind was still employed at CAsA as an FOI'!! Seriously, nobody at the table could recall? Now, I inderstand old age can cause side effects such as partial memory loss, brewers droop, periodic  toilet visits at 2300, 0200 and 0430, and hypertension but the lineup of Silvertails on these occasions couldn't recall such basic information?? Christ, these same people are responsible for aviation safety on a national scale?? I bet they remember to check-in business class for their trips to Montreal? I bet they remember to claim their TIL payments for each travel jolly? I bet they remember the processes and procedures of how to fly an A380 so they can receive their endorsement?

Hmmm, not sure about you lot but I think I can smell the fresh pungent aroma of pony pooh mixed in with the smell of Tezza's mothballed luggage and pensioner cologne!!

Tick tock

Classic Iron Ring geriatrics with STM loss... Blush 

Reminds me of the 22 October 2012 PelAir inquiry public hearing??- err hang on a second..ahh here we are... Big Grin :

Quote:Senator XENOPHON: No, no, no! I am sorry, Mr McCormick—there was a role for CASA to take:


… the Civil Aviation Safety Authority has commenced a project to review the fuel requirements for flights to remote islands.
Can anyone at this table please tell me what the review involved? When was that review concluded?

Mr McCormick : Sorry, Senator, we were not involved in this. We were not in these positions in the year 2000. I do not know what has happened to that report; I will find it out on notice.

Senator FAWCETT: There is actually a broader issue, though, Mr McCormick. There is no closed-loop system so that recommendations that are made by ATSB, that CASA agrees—particularly we have seen a number where, in a coroner's court, the coroner has said, 'We'll close out this issue, because ATSB made a recommendation and CASA said they will do it,' and then a decade later there is has been no action. Is that an issue for the travelling public? I hear you that you were not there for that whole 10 years, but we are talking about a system now, not personalities. Is the system not working as it should?

Mr McCormick : I cannot speak for what happened in 2000. I only got here in 2009. But we have in place now a system where we do track all the recommendations—since 2009 and on-hand at the moment there are 121 recommendations that were made by coroners. There are 16 of those outstanding. Some of them are unfortunately beyond our ability to do, where the coroner may have made quite a reasonable finding but it is impossible for us to implement. Some others we have under review as well. We do have the safety recommendations of the ATSB. We do track those; we have been doing that since I have been here, and we know exactly how many of those are outstanding as well.

Senator NASH: Was anybody at the table employed by CASA in 2000?
 
Senator FAWCETT: Mr Boyd, were you around?

Mr Boyd : Yes, but not in that position.

Senator NASH: Anybody else? Mr Farquharson? Dr Aleck?

Dr Aleck : I was in Montreal.

Senator FAWCETT: You've got an alibi!..
 
Murky Mandarins & accountability - TICK..TOCK!

Maybe the PelAir inquiry was a watershed moment in the way Senate Committees began to realise how the bureaucracy - in particular it's Mandarins - were taking the Mickey Bliss out of the whole House of Review/Senate process??

After all Senator Fawcett had prior experience with dealing & lobbying the Cantberra versions of Sir Humphrey within the Defence Department - Minister, mandarins and the military

Quote:Who is really in charge of the Defence Department? Many would guess the military chiefs, which is logical enough. Some would even say the Minister—civil control and all that. Or perhaps, given the recent discussion about the influence of Ministerial advisers over the public service, others would suggest we should be looking to the Secretary—Sir Humprey always did seem to get his way.

 Anyway be it merely coincidence or the worm is truly turning, it would appear that in recent times Senators of all political persuasions are less inclined to toe the bureaucratic line, that somehow Mandarins are a protected species and therefore immune from Parliamentary scrutiny.

The classic example of this is the recent condemnation by the Senate Privileges Committee (160th report) of (now former) Parliamentary Services Secretary Carol Mills, who just last week was given the bullet.

The following article is from the Mandarin and describes the downfall of Carol Mills. 

Quote:A breakdown of trust: accountability the key to Carol Mills sacking




by
Stephen Easton
28.04.2015

[Image: Parliament_Anne-Zahalka.jpg]

Accountability mechanisms like Senate committees may be onerous and seemingly unfair at times, but the dismissal of Parliamentary Services secretary Carol Mills demonstrates they must be respected.

If any more explanation is required for the dismissal of Parliamentary Services secretary Carol Mills last week, it was provided today in yet another unfavourable report from yet another inquiry into the troubled department.

[Image: Parliament-House-010-500x306-150x150.jpg]Carol Mills (photo: Canberra CityNews)

The dismissal, which went un-explained by those behind it on Friday, likely has multiple causes. But chief among them seems to be the view that Mills has been less than forthcoming when called to account, giving evidence to multiple inquires over several years that was seen as variously incomplete, contradictory, evasive, dismissive and even deliberately misleading.

Having completed three public hearings and two Estimates hearings, and seeing as the Senate Privileges Committee and the auditor-general have now both tabled DPS-related inquiry reports, the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee felt today was the “opportune” time to add their own PDF to the pile.

In part, the committee wanted to follow up on the implementation of recommendations it made in 2012, but it also re-hashed the various other controversies that have taken place since then.

Today’s report pulls out highlights from auditor-general Ian McPhee’s review, which in the committee’s interpretation, demonstrated little had changed since 2012. The senators concluded that McPhee had been “generous” in saying the implementation of the 2012 prescriptions was “at the slower end”.

The committee notes the department’s poor reputation made it difficult to recruit senior staff and that general morale is low. It savages Mills over her explanations for the lack of progress:

Quote:“DPS has had two-and-a-half years in which to address the recommendations and effect some change. Frankly, the complete lack of progress is unacceptable.”

The committee also went over the commissioning of $30,000 worth of photographic art — including the photo above — for the 25th anniversary of Parliament House from Anne Zahalka, who lived near Mills and knew her personally. Although the former secretary denied she knew her very well, the lack of documentation and fuzzy memories of staff regarding the process made it difficult to investigate the matter:

Quote:“In the committee’s opinion, the commissioning of the photographs to mark the 25th Anniversary of Parliament House epitomises the failings that still exist within DPS. Crucially, DPS are unable to produce documents for a three-month period during the commissioning process.”

The interim report then provides a blow-by-blow summary of the scandal surrounding the use of security cameras in the investigation of a DPS employee potentially breaching the code of conduct by providing information to former senator John Faulkner. It was Mills’ attempts to explain and defend her department’s actions in this controversial series of events that perhaps did her career the most damage.

The Privileges Committee found Mills an evasive and unhelpful witness whose testimony was contradicted by her own department, and when she responded to its December 2014 report, she only dug herself deeper. The Clerk of the Senate Rosemary Laing took issue with Mills’ response and wrote to the committee to say so.

The Finance and Public Administration Committee’s latest investigations gave it even less confidence in Mills’ past statements, and it concluded that:

Quote:“Overall, the evidence to the committee so far demonstrates that DPS, as currently managed, is deeply dysfunctional.”

The committee also “holds little hope” of DPS being able to address the issues highlighted by McPhee’s audit, given its failure to take the medicine prescribed in 2012, although it prepared today’s report before it found out Mills no longer worked there.

Based on the dire warnings of the politicians and the auditor-general, the task of turning things around will not be an easy one.

Top photo by Anne Zahalka, part of the Parliament House at Work exhibition scrutinised by the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee.

{Comment: If you swap around some names, titles etc. here'n' there and picture old pumpkin head & perhaps Beaker, there are some passing strange similarities don't you reckon?? Rolleyes }

Quote:"Accountability mechanisms like Senate committees may be onerous and seemingly unfair at times, but the dismissal of Parliamentary Services secretary Carol Mills demonstrates they must be respected."
    
Hmm...bring on the 161st Privileges Committee report... Huh

Quote:Possible imposition of a penalty on a witness before the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee or a person providing information to the committee


In the context of an inquiry by the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee into aviation accident investigations and Budget estimates hearings of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee in May 2013:
Quote:(a) whether disciplinary action was taken against either a witness before the committee or a person providing information to the committee; and
(b) if so, whether any contempt was committed in respect of those matters
Committee Secretariat contact:
Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committee of Privileges
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 62773360
Fax: +61 2 62773199
priv.sen@aph.gov.au

& bring on a Federal ICAC I say... Big Grin

Quote:Federal ICAC case strong, despite anti-bribery measures



by
Stephen Easton
27.04.2015

[Image: iStock_000038670060_Large.jpg]

Anti-corruption processes across key federal entities, led by the Australian Federal Police, have been enhanced in recent years in response to major foreign bribery cases. But no matter how good these measures are, they do little to weaken the case for a federal ICAC.

Last week saw a flurry of new reports of public servants caught doing the wrong thing.
On Thursday the country’s newest independent corruption fighter, South Australia’s independent commissioner against corruption Bruce Lander, announced six charges against the former manager of the state’s Interpreting and Translating Centre, who is alleged to have profited from inside information. Lander also revealed a woman faces an abuse of public office charge as well as 233 counts of theft and 114 counts of dishonest dealing with documents, after a separate investigation.

Meanwhile in Sydney, a former Department of Agriculture employee was charged with two corruption offences in relation to a consultancy he established, only a few hours after a very remorseful Canberra public servant was sentenced by a local magistrate for using his employer’s credit card improperly.

It continued on Friday, although the theme changed to public officials indulging in criminality on their own time. A senior executive from the Australian Government Solicitor’s office pled guilty to drug dealing charges and a Defence employee was sentenced for possessing child pornography, while the ACT Supreme Court dealt with a senior manager from Airservices Australia who used fake businesses to defraud $380,000 from the tax office.

Just today, Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) claimed its first major scalp, that of the allegedly corrupt former education department official Nino Napoli, on the first day of a series of hearings expected to run for the next six weeks or so.

“It is a proactive recognition that the current arrangements are in many ways insufficient … but it’s not a replacement for an ICAC.”
 
Wrongdoing happens everywhere, but when it happens in government often, at a high level or when the normal procedure in some part of the public sector is seen to be crooked, public confidence in the whole institutional framework takes a hit. It’s much easier to trust an independent statutory body, empowered to unearth corruption through investigation and interrogation than an agency of the government — with good reason — which is why such entities are now one of the standard accountability mechanisms at state level.

Both major parties and plenty of federal mandarins oppose the establishment of such a corruption watchdog for the Commonwealth, but that hasn’t stopped cross-benchers and experts from outside government continuing to prosecute the case.

[Image: Gabrielle-Appleby.jpg]Gabrielle Appleby

UNSW associate professor of law Dr Gabrielle Appleby supports the creation of a federal ICAC, but says it must be appropriately designed, adequately funded and sit within “a web of accountability mechanisms that can all check and balance each other”.
“It performs an important inquisitorial role, a role that OK, yes, sometimes royal commissions can also perform, but they’re so hard to get off the ground, particularly when it’s about investigating corruption within government,” Appleby told The Mandarin. “[Standing anti-corruption commissions are] an important part of that accountability framework but they’re not the only part, and they shouldn’t be an unmonitored part of the accountability framework.”

The week before last, a long list of tweaks and improvements to the Commonwealth’s anti-corruption mechanisms aimed at enhancing guidance, professional education and cross-agency collaboration were detailed in a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Working Group on Bribery.

The report also revealed the number of foreign bribery investigations undertaken by the Australian Federal Police increased from seven in October 2012 to 17 — possibly a consequence of one of the key enhancements it refers to, the establishment of the Fraud and Anti-Corruption Centre in 2013.

“I think you have to take [the establishment of the FAC Centre] as a positive move by the government,” says Appleby. “It is a proactive recognition that the current arrangements are in many ways insufficient … but whilst it seems to be part of a general strengthening of the system of checks and balances at the federal level, it’s not a replacement for an ICAC.”

The measures taken over the past several years represent Australia’s progress towards implementing 33 recommendations made by the OECD working group in October, 2012. Among them was the suggestion:
Quote:“…that the AFP take sufficient steps to ensure that foreign bribery allegations are not prematurely closed, and be more proactive in gathering information from diverse sources at the pre-investigative stage.”
A few months earlier, compelling allegations had surfaced in a joint ABC-Fairfax journalism investigation, made by the former acting co-ordinator of the AFP taskforce looking into how much public officials knew about the Australian Wheat Board illegally paying kickbacks to the Iraqi government. The claims, backed up by other members of the taskforce, suggested it encountered mysterious resistance from above and was shut down prematurely to avoid embarrassing the government.

That affair then became the subject of a senate inquiry, which reported in late March. Unsurprisingly, the Labor and Coalition members of the committee agreed on only one recommendation:
Quote:“… that this matter should not further exercise the resources of the federal parliament.”
The far longer and more detailed minority report by the committee’s chair, Greens senator Penny Wright, contained four recommendations including another call for a federal ICAC.

“One of the main purposes of these types of bodies is to promote public confidence in the integrity of government administration,” said Appleby. “The establishment, in and of itself, is one way of demonstrating that.”

Another role for a federal ICAC would be “to tell the public service and elected officials that the government is serious about corruption” in order to promote a stronger anti-corruption culture, she adds. “So, it is not necessarily just the high profile investigations that make a standing commission necessary, it’s also that educative role, in changing and shifting the culture.”

“You have to be careful about publicity of corruption investigations … can have these perverse consequences where you see resignations, and pre-emptive resignations over relatively minor matters.”

“You have to be careful about publicity of corruption investigations … can have these perverse consequences where you see resignations, and pre-emptive resignations over relatively minor matters.”

Two reports published in February and March by Western Australia’s Corruption and Crime Commission, which looked broadly at misconduct risk, demonstrated a role that goes beyond catching crooks in specific cases.

As well as financial and legislative independence from government, a federal ICAC would need sufficient powers to peer into the inner workings of government, but it must be designed carefully to make sure it is not too powerful, according to Appleby.

“I think that you have to be careful about publicity of corruption investigations,” she said. “I think that sometimes public investigations are a really important part of an ICAC’s functions, but sometimes, particularly in relation to less serious and systemic matters, the public investigations can have these perverse consequences where you see resignations, and pre-emptive resignations over relatively minor matters. And that, I think, is again a matter of institutional design.”

Appleby points out that just because it was first, the powerful, public and very aggressive NSW ICAC is not necessarily the best model. Bruce Lander’s office in SA, for example, does not do its work in the public eye. Another unique aspect is that it was not set up in the wake of a major scandal, as was the case in other states.

“The former Labor premier Mike Rann had always been opposed to the introduction of a commission against corruption. He had always indicated that he didn’t think corruption was a problem in South Australia and that the mechanisms that were in place were sufficient — so very similar arguments to that you see at the Commonwealth level — but then with a change in leader, you’ve got a change in approach.

“I think now that we’ve got anti-corruption commissions in all of the states … it will become increasingly strange that there’s no standing anti-corruption commission at the Commonwealth level. So just through generational change, maybe we will see that eventually.”

TICK...TICK...TICK M&M, Beaker, A380 endorsed Deputy (Sentinel) Dog & others... Big Grin    

MTF...P2 Dodgy


RE: Senate Estimates 24th February 2015 - Kharon - 04-30-2015

Leopards changing spots – not in my jungle.

Master Easton sets a bar the majority of main stream media journalists could not attempt; flat, factual, no frills reporting.  Until P2 brought 'the Mandarin' to my attention it would never have entered my wooden head to even contemplate reading such a journal – now, by a weird twist of fate I'm a fan, Easton has had a bit to do with this.  Karma eh? – serves me right for being a political dunderhead.

P2 has cherry picked some of the best quotes and quite correctly drawn the parallels between the Mills brouhaha and the troubled 'transport' departments, through which all matters aeronautical are filtered.  It says much for the 'mystique' of air safety that despite some very serious, expensive, damning reports being handed back over the past two decades that essentially little has changed.  The sins of Mills are but a peccadillo in comparison to some of the breathtaking obscenities, flagrantly displayed since the Pel-Air scandal was dragged, kicking and screaming out of shadow.  

When you look closely at the Mills dust up, you could argue a case that her 'crimes' in comparison to those committed by ATSB and CASA were light weight; and, she was either treated very harshly or, the DoIT & Co have, so far gotten away very lightly. Either way, the message is clear enough.  

The Mills imbroglio may go some way to explaining the delayed answers to QoN; no one would want to be caught with their pants down in the post Mills atmosphere.  Our own very own departments must work out how best to cover their very exposed nether regions.  For to tell the truth now may expose a previous fairy story; to tell a fairy story now risks exposure, as how much ammunition the Senators hold is an unknown.  Perhaps the MoP will drift way into the mists; perhaps not – we shall see.

Change the names and the parallels are there, clear as day, for all to see:-

Quote:....If any more explanation is required for the dismissal of Parliamentary Services secretary Carol Mills last week, it was provided today in yet another unfavourable report from yet another inquiry into the troubled department.

But chief among them seems to be the view that Mills has been less than forthcoming when called to account, giving evidence to multiple inquires over several years that was seen as variously incomplete, contradictory, evasive, dismissive and even deliberately misleading.

Quote:....The committee notes the department’s poor reputation made it difficult to recruit senior staff and that general morale is low. It savages Mills over her explanations for the lack of progress:

Quote:......The Privileges Committee found Mills an evasive and unhelpful witness whose testimony was contradicted by her own department, and when she responded to its December 2014 report, she only dug herself deeper. The Clerk of the Senate Rosemary Laing took issue with Mills’ response and wrote to the committee to say so.

Bravo the Mandarin and Master Easton; well done indeed.  It is only proper, but unfortunate that Easton should not 'investigate' and report, but must wait until after the fact.  I for one would enjoy reading his take on the 'doings' of the Murky Machiavellian crew, from pink bats through to land deals; the art of dodging Senate bullets, side stepping ICAO; and, best of all, explaining away the mountain of waste paper the public has funded, to the tune of some $230, 000, 000, laughingly referred to as aviation 'Regulatory reform'.  

No matter, we may yet, in time have the pleasure to read Easton describing similar after the fact events - Gods willing, weather permitting and Karma obliging.

Toot toot.


RE: Senate Estimates - 2015. - Peetwo - 04-30-2015

Quote:Okay we are now only a matter of weeks out from the '15-'16 Budget Estimates - & from an Australian perspective our government has committed millions more dollars(??) & resources to the planned expanded MH370 search area in the SIO.  As Brock McEwan states...


Quote:"...But the time is long past due for grassroots ACTION – not mere complaining about search conduct, nor bickering amongst ourselves. We must direct our questions re: holes in the official story to those who have actually MADE the holes – in this case, primarily agencies of the Australian government, whether puppets or not. If we ask hard pointedly enough, they’ll have to give up who they’re shilling for.

And then we’ll ask THEM the questions.  And so on, until we get the ANSWERS.

Eventually, we’ll get to someone who knows something – no matter WHAT flag they wave...

..The ATSB has misled us, and misdirected the search. Repeatedly. It is time for the general public to whom they are accountable (you and your compatriots) to bring them in for further questioning. Even if they’re a patsy, intense questioning will prove very useful.

Don’t think of it as damning Eisenhower for Kennedy’s sins – think of it as grilling Dean to get to Nixon..."


...it is in the Australian public/taxpayer interest that the many outstanding questions (that he and many others) have put to the ATSB (that so far are being continuously obfuscated or blatantly ignored) be answered. 

IMO the RRAT Committee Senate Estimates is the perfect forum to get these answers. And from last Estimates with the attendance of Mr Peter Foley (Program Director, Operational Search for MH370) it would appear that the powers to be were expecting more QONs to be asked. As it was Foley only gave a very limited update to the MH370 search:

Refer - ATSB Hansard 24/02/15 or...



So in order to facilitate the many pointed questions that the many concerned & intelligent individuals have in regards to the ATSB managed search for MH370 in the SIO, PAIN is happy to collate any offered QON and forward the same to the RRAT Committee Senators best equipped to ask the right questions.   No guarantees, but we promise to try. 

Anyone who wishes to pose a question to the ATSB on the MH370 SIO search etc. - at the Budget Estimates on the 25-28th of May - this is not a bad place to start.

Okay to kick off the Q&A list...

Q1/ I don't know about anyone else but I'd like to know who it is that sits on the SSWG?

Q2/ I'd also like to know the answer to Brock's (& presumably many others) question on why (& on what new evidence) the ATSB is making signs of searching beyond their original performance limit for MH370?? 

From thread - Less Noise and More Signal post #6 

Quote:"...If the ATSB’s Oct. Flight Path Analysis Update is to be believed, there is no point searching SW of [S38, E88], because that was where the performance limit crossed the 7th arc (translation: they feel MH370 lacked sufficient fuel to make it to any point on the 7th arc further SW of that coordinate, as it would cover too much distance within the prescribed amount of time).  

MTF...P2 Huh


RE: Senate Estimates - 2015. - Kharon - 04-30-2015

Steam On – Check.

Quote:P2 – " IMO the RRAT Committee Senate Estimates is the perfect forum to get these answers. And from last Estimates with the attendance of Mr Peter Foley (Program Director, Operational Search for MH370) it would appear that the powers to be were expecting more QON to be asked. As it was Foley only gave a very limited update to the MH370 search:

The point (IMO) made by P2 post above is that it is high time the estimates committee took a hand in the MH 370 search; before we end up with egg on our collective, national faces.  His post calls, as do many other highly qualified, competent people for detail, clarity and proof of accuracy.  The reasons are self evident.  The questions keep mounting, the search keeps extending the results need little 'technical' explanation.  The 'establishment' search area is now believed to be incorrect by so many as to bring reasonable doubt on the official conclusions.  The IG, Brock McEwan, Bobby Ulich, Paul Howard, Jeff Wise, Mike Chillit, to name but a few would would happily challenge the SSWG conclusions.   I believe they would be delighted to be proven wrong and even more pleased to throw their collective, not inconsiderable intellectual weight into assisting refine or remodel the search parameters.  But it is very wrong that they should be slapped down, dismissed and denigrated as 'amateurs' - especially by the likes of Dolan.  Anyway, this and more has been said many times over, to no avail.   However, it appears:-

Quote:.....[Australia] has accepted responsibility for the search etc.

and, as this is a democracy; and, as there are more non-believers in the current search than believers – perhaps democracy should be exercised.   Let the dissenters speak; lets hear qualified argument; and, please let us see if the collective intellectual ability can prevail over the ruling few, who despite finding Sweet Fanny Adams, will not entertain any new, sensible, plausible, notions.  Anyway – just who are these faceless people? this SSWG?, don't see them putting their professional 'cred' on the line.  Time to pee in the pot or get off it I'd say...Let them prove their theory, publish it and then be prepared to live or die by intellectual peer review.  

On a minor note; some sidebar questions:-

Just what is meant by [Australia] has accepted responsibility for the search etc.?  Who has?, and for what, which department?.  What does "the responsibility" mean, exactly?  No one can be serious about leaving Dolan in charge; he of the slightly tarnished reputation.  Crumbs, the slightest hitch, cock up or stray bit of suspect evidence will ensure that it is all Australia's fault that the wretched aircraft is not found. 

Then there is the enormous cost - a $100 million-ish impost to provide mineral explorers with free sea bed maps, outrageous.  Well it is, when our own schools, families, dog shelters, battered wives, old folk, sick folk, blind folk, and every other poor, benighted sod in the 'lucky' country must tighten belts; to ask WHY? is a very fair question.   The poor old Nepalese only got seven millions and there thousands of them for the bleeding heart brigade crowd to toddle outdoors for and put flowers and teddy bears on lamp posts. Malaysia can afford it, the MAS insurers can afford it, the Chinese can most certainly afford it.  So why Australia, land of the recession we have to have?  Tony and Joe cry poor, every second chance they get, so I am perplexed as why 'Australia' has to foot now not only a large lump of the bill, but the responsibility as well.  I hope someone pays the Commonwealth for those sea floor maps, that may recompense – in part; but Dolan probably forgot to ensure exclusive rights to that property. 

Why is not mandatory for international carriers to carry SAR insurance? I'm sure Lloyds could work something out.

Someone, please tell me why FFS does Australia have to "accept responsibility" for anything to do with a Malaysian accident?, let alone be responsible and catching the blame for the ineptitude of other governments.   Tell the Malaysians to accept their responsibility for the search, for their aircraft.   Sure, Australia will do the heavy lifting in our SAR area; but we cannot call the tune.  We haven't lost a bloody aircraft from our screens – have we?   Nope, ain't right, none of it: not by a long shot.    

Aye - Steam Off – but keep that boiler warm.

Toot toot.


RE: Senate Estimates - 2015. - thorn bird - 04-30-2015

"But it is very wrong that they should be slapped down, dismissed and denigrated as 'amateurs' - especially by the likes of Dolan".

Now, now, K, surely our esteemed Mr. Nolan is in fact an "Expert".

The ATSB is after all the bastard child of CAsA.

It follows,therefore that CAsA principles of instant endowment through some mystical force, as "expert" the minute you join the organization is a given.

Just because he hasn't a clue about anything to do with aviation doesn't enter in to it,
I mean look at some of the FOI's and AWI'S who strut about the industry like Peacocks on viallium.

For those who are unaware:

(Viallium is half Viagra half valium, so when you don't get a f.k you don't give a f.k)

Most FOI's or AWI's don't give a F.k.

Beakers missus probably has him on Viagra lite to get it hard enough so he doesn't fill his boots when he has a pee.

Enough levity, I agree its a travesty all this money being wasted on a futile endeavor based on flawed data, think of the safety benefits all those bucks could buy.

Bluebottle..."Thinks"

all that money??....CAT 111B ILS's at all capital city primaries!!.

Eckles..."whot about the workers..err, I mean diversions to outback Airports due fog"

Neddy Seagoon..."No more emergency auto lands due weather on CAT 1 equipment"

Blue bottle.. "Thinks...they stole my ideas"
"You rotten swine you"
Mayor Bloodnock..."Good god man for that money we could have ILS's onto every airport supporting RPT"
Ying Yang Ying Yang...now don't start that again!!!


RE: Senate Estimates - 2015. - Peetwo - 05-01-2015

(04-30-2015, 03:17 PM)Peetwo Wrote:  
Quote:Okay we are now only a matter of weeks out from the '15-'16 Budget Estimates - & from an Australian perspective our government has committed millions more dollars(??) & resources to the planned expanded MH370 search area in the SIO.  As Brock McEwan states...



Quote:"...But the time is long past due for grassroots ACTION – not mere complaining about search conduct, nor bickering amongst ourselves. We must direct our questions re: holes in the official story to those who have actually MADE the holes – in this case, primarily agencies of the Australian government, whether puppets or not. If we ask hard pointedly enough, they’ll have to give up who they’re shilling for.

And then we’ll ask THEM the questions.  And so on, until we get the ANSWERS.

Eventually, we’ll get to someone who knows something – no matter WHAT flag they wave...

..The ATSB has misled us, and misdirected the search. Repeatedly. It is time for the general public to whom they are accountable (you and your compatriots) to bring them in for further questioning. Even if they’re a patsy, intense questioning will prove very useful.

Don’t think of it as damning Eisenhower for Kennedy’s sins – think of it as grilling Dean to get to Nixon..."


...it is in the Australian public/taxpayer interest that the many outstanding questions (that he and many others) have put to the ATSB (that so far are being continuously obfuscated or blatantly ignored) be answered. 

IMO the RRAT Committee Senate Estimates is the perfect forum to get these answers. And from last Estimates with the attendance of Mr Peter Foley (Program Director, Operational Search for MH370) it would appear that the powers to be were expecting more QONs to be asked. As it was Foley only gave a very limited update to the MH370 search:

Refer - ATSB Hansard 24/02/15 or...



So in order to facilitate the many pointed questions that the many concerned & intelligent individuals have in regards to the ATSB managed search for MH370 in the SIO, PAIN is happy to collate any offered QON and forward the same to the RRAT Committee Senators best equipped to ask the right questions.   No guarantees, but we promise to try. 

Anyone who wishes to pose a question to the ATSB on the MH370 SIO search etc. - at the Budget Estimates on the 25-28th of May - this is not a bad place to start.

Okay to kick off the Q&A list...

Q1/ I don't know about anyone else but I'd like to know who it is that sits on the SSWG?

Q2/ I'd also like to know the answer to Brock's (& presumably many others) question on why (& on what new evidence) the ATSB is making signs of searching beyond their original performance limit for MH370?? 

From thread - Less Noise and More Signal post #6 



Quote:"...If the ATSB’s Oct. Flight Path Analysis Update is to be believed, there is no point searching SW of [S38, E88], because that was where the performance limit crossed the 7th arc (translation: they feel MH370 lacked sufficient fuel to make it to any point on the 7th arc further SW of that coordinate, as it would cover too much distance within the prescribed amount of time).  

ATSB - MH370 questions for the Senators: cont/-

Okay from the Thorny & "K" posts I get...

Q3/ Why are we wasting money on a search that is quite obviously based on flawed and obfuscated (i.e. they know more that they're not telling us) data?

Q4/ Why is Australia carrying the can (responsibility) on this while the information vacuum from the Malaysians is simply stultifying?

Quote:The questions keep mounting, the search keeps extending the results need little 'technical' explanation.  The 'establishment' search area is now believed to be incorrect by so many as to bring reasonable doubt on the official conclusions.  The IG, Brock McEwan, Bobby Ulich, Paul Howard, Jeff Wise, Mike Chillit, to name but a few would would happily challenge the SSWG conclusions.   I believe they would be delighted to be proven wrong and even more pleased to throw their collective, not inconsiderable intellectual weight into assisting refine or remodel the search parameters.  But it is very wrong that they should be slapped down, dismissed and denigrated as 'amateurs' - especially by the likes of Dolan.  Anyway, this and more has been said many times over, to no avail.
    
Well said "K" and very much backs up my Q/ 1&2.... Wink  As does various parts of the latest off Jeff Wises blog piece - The Reasoning Behind the Continued Search of the Southern Indian Ocean for MH370:

Quote:"..The fly in the ointment is that the search area described in the area is now almost completely scanned, and the plane is not inside it. When the last square kilometer of the current 60,000 square kilometer search zone is scanned sometime next month, the hypothesis will have been falsified. The UFES will have been shown to be incorrect.

The failure to find the plane in the search area should not be regarded as failure. Rather, it is an important piece of information about the fate of MH370. It allows us to narrow down the list of possibilities going forward.

But it does force us to confront a difficult question: How do we best rationally proceed?.."

Top question Jeff, unfortunately I don't think the ATSB - led by self proclaimed super sleuth & media magnet Dolan (refer SMH thread) - intend for anyone but the faceless men & women on the SSWG to have any input on the way forward.... Dodgy

Hopefully???- MTF with questions for the Senators....P2  Tongue


RE: Senate Estimates - 2015. - P7_TOM - 05-03-2015

Holy hell ! – Yes Senator, indeed.

One of the more intriguing documents read lately is this one – HERE – from Skidmore to the Estimates committee.  It throws a shroud over some fairly nifty sleight of hand.  The letter, of it's self, is self explanatory.   To an inquiring mind, the rest of the 'bumf' is 'background noise' until you realise, as Skidmore must have done by now; it don't answer the question; not fully.

When you read Hansard the intent and the purpose of the question was – how come operators which are blacklisted in Europe can operate into Australia?.  What was needed, by way of answer was an explanation of the differences between Australia and Europe: given that ICAO compliance in the real world is the norm, rather than the 1600 odd differences package which keeps Australia off the real compliance radar, using stealth and technical lip service.

I wonder how long ICAO will sit still, when the world is blatantly taking the Mickey out of Annexe 13.  Perhaps they will start to hunt down a fat, juicy high roller for to make an example of?

Well, poor old Skidmore was lured into a velvet lined trap, foiled by smoke, dazzled by mirrors and succumbing to the oldest trap in the world – the whispered "trust me".

You know the old gag – "I'll only pop it in a little way, if you don't like it, I'll take it out; trust me"..... Smile ......


RE: Senate Estimates - 2015. - Peetwo - 05-04-2015

(05-03-2015, 12:21 PM)P7_TOM Wrote:  Holy hell ! – Yes Senator, indeed.

One of the more intriguing documents read lately is this one – HERE – from Skidmore to the Estimates committee.  It throws a shroud over some fairly nifty sleight of hand.  The letter, of it's self, is self explanatory.   To an inquiring mind, the rest of the 'bumf' is 'background noise' until you realise, as Skidmore must have done by now; it don't answer the question; not fully.

When you read Hansard the intent and the purpose of the question was – how come operators which are blacklisted in Europe can operate into Australia?.  What was needed, by way of answer was an explanation of the differences between Australia and Europe: given that ICAO compliance in the real world is the norm, rather than the 1600 odd differences package which keeps Australia off the real compliance radar, using stealth and technical lip service.

I wonder how long ICAO will sit still, when the world is blatantly taking the Mickey out of Annexe 13.  Perhaps they will start to hunt down a fat, juicy high roller for to make an example of?

Well, poor old Skidmore was lured into a velvet lined trap, foiled by smoke, dazzled by mirrors and succumbing to the oldest trap in the world – the whispered "trust me".

You know the old gag – "I'll only pop it in a little way, if you don't like it, I'll take it out; trust me"..... Smile ......

Tower Chair are we clear to backtrack?

Although personally I was much more interested in other passages of play at the time, I did find that Air Asia ......? (fill out on the dotted line.. Rolleyes ) & EU blacklist thing intriguing and now with Skates 1st Estimates retraction, even more so???

Anyway for those interested here is the "exchange" in pictures - fascinating how Hoodoo Voodoo seems to know in almost intimate detail the previous (prior to December 2014) EU blacklist??



Another point of interest in this whole "exchange" and "retraction" was the Murky Mandarin's constant interference into the fray...

1st example:
Quote:Senator STERLE: Why don't we just talk about all AirAsia that fly out of any port in Australia to overseas? Does that make it easier?


Mr Skidmore : To a certain degree it does.

Senator STERLE: It might be your first one, but you learnt pretty quickly.
 
Mr Mrdak : It is an important distinction, because we have AirAsia, which has a significantly longer operational history than the company that was involved in the accident, as opposed to AirAsia Indonesia.

Senator STERLE: Sure. Yes.

Mr Mrdak : The company has various stages of maturity and operations, so it is hard for us to give you a generic answer on AirAsia because there are multiple operators. AirAsia is a Malaysian company. There are various subsidiaries which are—

Senator STERLE: I am aware. The Philippines and Indonesia—

Mr Mrdak : at different stages of operation and have different business patterns to AirAsia's. That is why I cannot give you a—

Senator STERLE: Mr Mrdak, in all fairness to AirAsia, I asked the question and we should answer the whole lot. Mr Skidmore should tell us what CASA are thinking. Because out there in travel land people see AirAsia and go 'ooh'—let me tell you. Ask my mate here. In Perth there was a lot of conversation around that time. A lot of people use AirAsia out of Perth, as I said, to Bali. So you can put our minds at rest without starting an absolute fear campaign.

Mr Mrdak : Perhaps if we start with the business entity which is seeking regulatory approval to commence operations.

Senator STERLE: Spot on. Mr Mrdak, I am sorry to interrupt—while I am being nice and on my best behaviour—but as Senator Back did just say to me, that particular plane had been in service between Perth and Bali. So I think it is a fair question for us to put on the table. Let us have a go.

Mr Mrdak : All I was trying to do was assist you by saying that perhaps if Mr Skidmore starts with the progress on the application for new operations, which are AirAsia Indonesia, we can then talk from there about broader surveillance. But perhaps we could start from where the media focus has been, which is new start-up carriers. Does that assist, Mark?

Mr Skidmore : That will help, thank you. Indonesia AirAsia Extra is the operator who was asking for a Foreign Aircraft Air Operator's Certificate to operate from Melbourne to Denpasar.

Senator STERLE: Oh, have they?...

2nd example:
Quote:CHAIR: How did we allow them? Did they apply, or we have not bothered to inspect? How come they are banned in flying in Europe, but we say, 'She'll be right here'?


Mr Mrdak : Can I just jump in. I think we should clarify. Firstly, Garuda does operate to Europe and operates to here. Australia does look at issues like the European black list, but the European black list is not a black list as you might imagine. As Dr Aleck has indicated, the European authorities take certain presumptions in relation to carriers from certain states—

Senator STERLE: Ban the whole lot.

Mr Mrdak : and carriers then can apply to operate. With Garuda international there were some issues a few years ago. They have been satisfied. They are now regarded as a—

Mr Skidmore : Very safe.

Mr Mrdak : very safe and very credible airline. I would not want to leave the committee with the impression, on the evidence that has been given today, that there are any suggestions around Garuda Indonesia. In relation to those matters, we do look at issuing international airline licences and foreign AOCs. As to the status of those carriers on the European listing, they are taken into account. Australia does—and I am sure CASA will outline it for you—its own checks in relation to foreign AOCs and also undertakes its own ramp assessments and—

CHAIR: But there are still two airlines flying into Australia, as I understand it, that do not have the rights to fly into Europe?

Mr Mrdak : Before we are definitive, let me go and check that and give you an accurate piece of information on that evidence so far. Let us take that on notice and come back to you.

& at the end... Dodgy
Quote:Mr Mrdak : I think probably the best way is if we—


Senator STERLE: What are you laughing at, Mr Farquharson? Did I tickle your sense of humour? Are you picking on my mate Mr Quinlivan?

Mr Farquharson : I used to be the regional manager in Perth and I know Mr Quinlivan quite well.

Senator STERLE: Don't worry; I know he knows you. Anyway keep going. You look a bit like him from here.

Mr Mrdak : Perhaps if we come back to the committee with some advice in relation to, firstly, foreign air operators certificate requirements and then our safety surveillance program in relation to foreign carriers. If necessary, we can happily provide a briefing to the committee on those matters.

CHAIR: I was just going to suggest that it may be appropriate to prepare a set of documents to brief this committee.

Mr Mrdak : I think that would be the best way forward, so we do not mislead the committee or the general community about the status of airlines or the way in which this safety surveillance takes place. It is probably better if we do it that way.

Senator STERLE: I agree.

Dr Aleck : Can I just add quickly that, in 2009, we amended our legislation specifically to enable us to look at these issues more closely. We exercised those powers in connection with any operator who draws our attention to their activities, and an accident would be a flag.

CHAIR: It is a long time since I learned to fly. You may be captured by an area that has been black listed, but generally what goes wrong when an airline gets black listed in Europe?

Mr Mrdak : Generally, it starts with a concern about the safety regulator in that country in which the airline is based.

CHAIR: The skill of the pilot, the servicing of the plane?

Mr Mrdak : Generally, it starts with concerns about the quality of the safety assurance process in the country in which the airline is based, and the safety regulatory record of the jurisdiction before it gets to the individual aircraft operator. It is much more complex than simply the operator itself.

CHAIR: Anyhow, you will organise a briefing?

Mr Mrdak : I think that is the best way to handle it.

CHAIR: I agree.

Senator STERLE: In that case, I am finished.

CHAIR: I am pleased they asked the question. Senator Xenophon?

How very strange for M&M in Estimates no less?? M&M is not known for offering up so many words on a subject that should be totally within the remit of CASA. Further to this - strange display of disharmony between the Department and agency - is the fact that M&M then goes onto table the same EU Airline blacklist that CASA does within the Skidmore retraction correspondence, minus the EU legislation:

 3.) Document outlining a list of air carriers of which all operations are subject to a ban within the EU. Tabled by Mr Mike Mrdak, Secretary, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

(
PDF 2204KB)

How very bizarre??

Oh & for the record here is the indexed QON on this matter.. Wink :
Quote:171
086
CASA
HEFFERNAN
European blacklist of Airlines

CHAIR: Could you table to this committee the documents that backed up the black listing of those places that fly into Australia that are black listed in Europe?


CHAIR: But there are still two airlines flying into Australia, as I understand it, that do not have the rights to fly into Europe?

Mr Mrdak: Before we are definitive, let me go and check that and give you an accurate piece of information on that evidence so far. Let us take that on notice and come back to you.

Mr Skidmore: We can take it on notice and confirm to you exactly the numbers there, but Australia still conducts its own assessment in regards to the application put forward to it.

Mr Mrdak: Perhaps if we come back to the committee with some advice in relation to, firstly, foreign air operators certificate requirements and then our safety surveillance program in relation to foreign carriers. If necessary, we can happily provide a briefing to the committee on those matters.

CHAIR: I was just going to suggest that it may be appropriate to prepare a set of documents to brief this committee.





MTF...P2 Blush